In 2016 the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) finalised the development of the 2016-2020 Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) to guide the implementation of education programmes for a 5 year term in Zimbabwe. In the same year, Zimbabwe was awarded US$20.58 million for a three-year program that aims to increase the number of children successfully completing basic education. In August 2018, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Board approved US$8.82 million for the Variable Part (result-base funding granted to countries when they meet certain indicators), as well as US$10 million Multiplier Fund (a financing mechanism that provides an incentive and financial resources to catalyse more and better investment in education). The Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) a network of parties including INGO’s and Community Based Organisations, was involved in developing the GPE programme document and provided feedback to GPE on the application.

The GPE programme has 5 components

  1. Provide a strong policy, legal and regulatory framework: Provide for clear and well-articulated policies embedded within a consistent regulatory framework guided by the constitution. This will allow quality education to be delivered equitably, effectively and efficiently. The school financing and the inclusive education policy are some of the priority policies that were targeted to be completed and implemented by 2016.
  2. Curricula roll-out: This programme component contributes to a full and effective roll out of the newly developed curriculum for the entire school system from Early Childhood Development (ECD) to upper secondary in a phased approach.
  3. Improved equity and access: The component focuses on reaching out to children failing accessing education as a result of various challenges.
  4. Institutional strengthening: The component responds to the recognition that one of the key determinants of equitable delivery of good quality education services is MoPSE’s institutional capacity. The goal of this component is to ensure that MoPSE has efficient and effective administrative structures in place and those programs are supported, managed and monitored by staff with the appropriate knowledge, management and leadership skills.
  5. Sector monitoring: The component supports stakeholder monitoring of the implementation of the all ESPIG components.

Monitoring the implementation of GPE funds


There are various platforms that promote civil society participation in monitoring of the GPE programme. These include the Education Coordination Group (ECG), the national forum for regular multi-stakeholder engagement to monitor all existing bilateral and multilateral education aid and its impact on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Members of ECG include the Minister, the Permanent Secretary and MoPSE senior management, UNICEF, UNESCO, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), donor partners including the World Bank and DFID, the Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) and The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED).

Joint Sector Reviews (JSR) were held with all stakeholders including CSOs, teachers’ unions, development partners, MoPSE (provincial and district, as well as the national levels) and other government line ministries, this ensured inclusive participation for education stakeholders. ECOZI participates in the JSR representing civil society organisations. All programme components of GPE are reviewed during JSR to check on the performance and budget utilisation of each component. Involvement of CSOs starts at planning level and continues with the actual review and follow ups on implementation.

Civil Society Involvement

Education policy advocacy: Education Amendment Bill


ECOZI is working closely with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education to conduct public hearings in all the provinces. The coalition members mobilised and educated citizens to effectively participate during the hearings. ECOZI compiled a position paper, conducted a legal analysis of the bill and drafted some amendments which were submitted to parliament for consideration during the alignment of the education act. The initiative was funded by the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF).

Promoting grassroots participation in Education Strategic Plan (ESSP) processes

With support from GIZ, ECOZI is promoting participation of grassroots CSOs in education policy formulation, implementation and review. ECOZI is supporting MoPSE to review provincial operational plans with participation of grassroots CSOs.

Education financing

ECOZI has been pushing for increased domestic education financing. The coalition conducted a research on innovative financing models, disseminated the findings and engaged policy makers which prompted development of a school financing policy. The coalition will continue to steer debate on the need to increase domestic education finances for sustainable education financing.

Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning (GRESP)

ECOZI is advocating for the development of a gender responsive education sector plan in Zimbabwe. This started after participating in a regional capacity building workshop on GRESP in November 2018. The workshop was organised by GPE and United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). The coalition managed to build the capacity of its members and the thematic committee on Gender and Disability of the coalition. Members of the coalition were targeted to participate in the process of developing Education Sector Strategic Plans. The coalition has also managed to build the capacity of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to ensure that they champion development of a gender responsive ESSP so as to address disparities in the education sector. Members of the coalition such as Plan International in Zimbabwe and Forum for African Women Educationalists Zimbabwe (FAWEZI) provided technical support during the GRESP journey.

Author: Liberty Matsive, Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) National Coordinator

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The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is a civil society movement that aims to end exclusion in education. Education is a basic human right, and our mission is to make sure that governments act now to deliver the right of everyone to a free, quality, public education.